MENTONE has secured promotion from State 5 South after Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Mount Martha.
Jason Grieve’s men have locked-in a second-placed finish with two rounds to go due to upcoming byes for Rosebud and Seaford.
A bullet header from Marcus Spivey in the 7th minute clinched the win last weekend.
Grieve believes that player depth was pivotal to the senior team’s success.
“When we’ve had players missing we’ve been able to move players to different positions and call on players from our reserves who have more than held their own,” Grieve said.
“I put that down to our seniors and ‘ressies’ mostly training together and knowing how we play and what’s expected.”
Mentone started the season slowly but gathered momentum after half a dozen games.
“We had to play eight of our first 10 games away from home (pitch availability) and after losing three of our first five we had to dig deep and find a way to stay in the chasing pack (behind Hampton Park United).
“State League 5 has been so competitive this year and we’re just delighted to have won promotion after coming close on a number of occasions.
“The club is ready to step up next year and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.”
The downside to Saturday’s success was the broken collarbone suffered by Mount Martha striker Ethan Sanderson in the first half.
He was taken to hospital and had corrective surgery on Monday.
In other State 5 games Seaford United had a fine 3-2 away win over Aspendale, Rosebud won a thriller 4-3 away to Bunyip District and champion Hampton Park United smashed Mount Eliza 6-0.
Harry McCartney reports that a Josh Vega cross in the 38th minute found Michael Nobbs whose first-time tap-in at the near post gave Seaford the lead on Saturday.
Five minutes later Dom Paul ran onto a long ball to round Seaford keeper Hayden Hicks and level.
Seaford went 2-1 up in the 53rd minute when a corner was headed home at the far post by Sam Luxford.
Aspendale hit back in the 75th minute when Hicks saved a long-range shot from Kieran Hughes but the ball fell to Paul who made no mistake.
Just when a draw seemed certain the visiting supporters erupted when 15-year substitute Abraham Leuth ran onto a through ball and sealed the win in the 94th minute.
Rosebud striker Noah Musso scored four goals in the final 18 minutes in a stunning solo performance at Bunyip on Saturday.
The youngster powered Rosebud to its best win of the season without star duo Dougie Cunnison and keeper Colin McCormack who were ruled out through injury.
The visitors recovered from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits through Musso’s exploits backed up by superb displays from Barney Johnson, Stef Papaluca, Jacob Biggs, Riley Gill and a remarkable performance by stand in keeper Louis Bisogni.
In NPL2 Langwarrin and Werribee City battled to a stalemate on Friday night with their Galvin Park clash finishing 0-0.
Persistent rumours linking Langy gaffer Scott Miller with another NPL club have been dismissed by the former Fulham assistant.
He plans to hold talks with club president Tanya Wallace and main sponsor Greg Kilner at the end of the season.
“It comes down to more than just the coach – among other things it comes down to the club’s financial position and which players can be retained – so there’s a lot to consider,” Miller said.
“I’ll probably decide in which direction I’d like to head over the next couple of weeks.”
In State 1 Mornington clings to the fading hope of promotion after Friday night’s scoreless draw away to Collingwood City.
Seagulls’ head coach Adam Jamieson rued the absence of star Scottish striker Rory Currie due to a knee injury suffered at training a fortnight ago.
“There’s no doubt he would have made a difference,” Jamieson said.
“We hit the bar three times and hit the post a couple of times and you just have to take your chances.
“Once we had the send-off (Luke Burgess) in the second half we made hard work of it.”
The result puts Mornington four points behind ladder leader FC Melbourne with two tough games remaining – away to Malvern City and at home against FC Melbourne.
“We’ve just got to stay positive and see how we go,” Jamieson added.
“We have to finish as high as we can because who knows what Football Victoria will do when it comes to promotion.”
In State 2 Frankston Pines are staring down the barrel of relegation a season after winning promotion from State 3 South.
Pines lost 4-3 to Berwick City at Monterey Reserve on Saturday night and appear anchored to bottom spot three points behind third-bottom Skye United with two games remaining.
Nick Santhiago, Kaspar Fry and Joey O’Connor scored for Pines but the pivotal moment in this contest came in the 58th minute when referee Reza Hassani brandished a straight red to Pines captain Ryan Ratcliffe for a sliding challenge on Berwick’s Angelo Rovegno Adama.
The decision dismayed Pines gaffer Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor.
“When you are in a scrap it feels as if everything goes against you,” Taylor said.
“On this occasion the referee has shown our captain a straight red which on review of the video in my opinion is lucky to warrant a free-kick let alone a send-off.
“Ryan has won the ball, no studs showing and we are left to play the last 25 minutes of a crucial game with 10 men.
“I appreciate referees have a tough job and need to make split-second decisions but unfortunately this is just another that not only affects the outcome of the game but potentially our season.”
Skye drew 1-1 with Doncaster Rovers at Anderson Park on Friday night.
The home side struck the post twice before opening the scoring through Stefan Cardamone in the 18th minute.
Five minutes later Mark O’Connor levelled with a lob over the Doncaster keeper and just before half-time Cardamone was red carded for violent conduct.
Skye couldn’t convert its second-half chances and in the final minutes had to rely on an Alex Van Heerwarden clearance off the line and an excellent save from goalkeeper Jonathan Crook.
Peninsula Strikers defeated Knox City 2-1 at Centenary Park on Saturday.
Strikers led after 11 minutes after a brilliant Billy Rae through ball released Cooper Andrews who expertly dinked the ball over advancing Knox keeper Tom Andersen.
Antonio Marcuccio levelled in the 29th minute with a volley on the turn.
Both sides missed second-half chances until a touch of brilliance in the 86th minute from Riley Anderton who saw Andersen off his line and beat him from 35 metres.
In State 4 Baxter smashed relegated Noble Park 9-1 at Baxter Park on Saturday.
Daniel Taylor scored four goals in the first half starting with a headed own goal in the 6th minute.
Nine minutes later he made amends smashing home a Tristen Stass cutback following a corner.
Baxter went 2-1 up when Keegan Myatt cut the ball back to Brody Taylor who put Aleks Dukic clear inside the area for a quick turn and low strike inside the near post.
Dylan Murchie made it 3-1 from point blank range in the 35th minute from a Brodie McMinimee ball across the face of goal.
By now the visitors’ resistance had crumbled and when the half-time whistle sounded it was 5-1 and Daniel Taylor had a hat-trick.
The rout continued after the break.
Second-half scorers were Myatt, Dukic, Murchie and Bucello with the highlight being a stunning Bucello strike into the top far corner.
The lowlight was the red cards for violent conduct shown to Brodie McMinimee and Noble Park’s Nebojsa Vanovac late in the contest.
Chelsea won Friday night’s derby showdown with Somerville 4-2 at Edithvale Recreation Reserve.
Ben Schmidt was credited with an 18th minute own goal following an excellent low Adrian Pace corner and a shot on the turn from Piers Brelsford.
The visitors levelled five minutes into the second half when a Conor Mcfall pass found Joe Simmons who finished from a one-on-one with Chelsea keeper Rhys Davies.
A miskick from Joel Wade eluded his keeper Nick Bucello in the 76th minute to put Chelsea back in front and substitute Hamish Dorigo made it 3-1 with a superb header from a Pace cross.
Mcfall made it 3-2 with a fine finish after collecting a loose ball on the edge of the area but Brelsford broke clear and made no mistake to round off the scoreline.
Chelsea coach Carlo Melino who is stepping down this year went into the Somerville dressing room after the match and thanked their players for their efforts and competitiveness over the past few seasons.
Melino is in his sixth season at Chelsea.
He also coached Endeavour United for six seasons and both clubs will shortly announce that they will use future league games to compete for the Melino Cup.
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 18 August, 8.30pm:
Chelsea v Sandringham, Edithvale Recreation Reserve
Saturday 19 August, 3pm:
Langwarrin v Brunswick Juventus, Lawton Park
Malvern City v Mornington, Kooyong Park
Skye Utd v Berwick City, Skye Recreation Reserve
Knox City v Frankston Pines, Egan Lee Reserve
Brandon Park v Peninsula Strikers, Freeway Reserve
Somerville Eagles v Sandown Lions, Tyabb Central Reserve
Mount Martha v Aspendale, Civic Reserve
Mount Eliza v Barton Utd, Emil Madsen Reserve
Seaford Utd v Bunyip District, North Seaford Reserve
Mentone v Casey Panthers, Mentone Grammar Playing Fields
Saturday 19 August, 6pm:
Keysborough v Baxter, Coomoora Reserve